Carriers face a number of significant obstacles in regard to the eAWB, two of which include:
Forwarder Adoption – With 80 percent of international air cargo tonnage stemming from forwarders, how an intermediary provides its airway bill information is of critical importance to carriers.
However, forwarders have been slow to make the transition to the eAWB, mostly due to a number of misconceptions regarding the initiative. For example, there is a common perception that it is complex and costly for forwarders to:
Regulatory Compliance – The safety and security of cargo has always been a priority for air freight carriers; however, increasing regulations can offset operational efficiency. Some airlines have reported that the costs associated with security today are 10 times more than in 2001.
Global security filings; such as the Air Advance Commercial Information (ACI) program in Canada, the Air Cargo Advance Screening (ACAS) pilot in the United States, the Air Automated Commercial Environment (Air ACE) initiative– previously called Air Automated Manifest System (Air AMS), the Import Control System (ICS) in the EU and more; also place substantial pressure on airlines to obtain, manage and store information in a digital format.
With global security filing regulations on the rise, the cost-for-profit is increasing. As a result, some carriers are downloading the cost of these requirements to forwarders.